Ever given a thought to how clean your towels really are? Sure, you hang them up to dry after each use, toss them in the hamper after a week, and consequently cycle it in the washing machine with your trusted laundry detergent. But is that really enough? With research and investigation, Inside Edition confirms our worst suspicions: our bath towels can become breeding grounds for fungi and different bacteria… within just a week.
That’s why smell and color shouldn’t be used to gauge just how dirty a bath towel is. Your towel can be visibly white but still actually be quite dirty.
This investigation by Inside Edition might initially gross you out but it’s an extremely eye-opening one that will equip you with knowledge on how to really keep those towels clean.
While everyone’s day to day routine (laundry included) varies, it’s a pretty common practice to hang up one’s towel after bathing. And up until this investigation, no one really saw anything wrong with it. One woman who participated in the experiment is a model residing in New York. Marisa Hunter dries her face and hands using the same towel that she pats herself dry with after every shower.
Lisa Guerrero of Inside Edition visited Marisa and used sterilized swabs to retrieve samples from the model’s towel. The swabs were then sent to Micrim Labs in Florida for testing. It took two weeks before the results came out.
And the yucky results reveal just how easily bacteria and fungi can breed in one’s towel.
The model was hoping Inside Edition wouldn’t find anything gross about the towel but unfortunately, the opposite happened. Guerrero details:
“We tested your towel for over a week, and during that time we found one fungus and five different bacteria including E. coli.”
Shocked enough at the results, the model thought that was it. Until she learned about the bacteria count.
On the first day, the bacteria count on her towel was 260,000 but after a week, it reached an alarming 650 million.
Lara Alcontara and her daughters Maia and Marcella also participated in the study. In their home, they change towels once a week, too.
As their bath towels were being swabbed, Lara expressed confidence as she said, “Go for it. I’m confident of the cleanliness of my towels.”
And just like Marisa, theirs, too, had pretty gross results.
Eight kinds of bacteria were discovered, including staph aureus and E. coli.
When it was time to learn of the bacteria count, the mom of two was shocked to learn that her personal towel had a whopping 490 million.
The last participant was an office manager named Shanna Marie Wallace. Unlike the first two, she washes her towels every couple of weeks.
But just like them, she too was grossed out by the results.
One fungus and four bacteria were found in her towels, including one that could potentially cause pneumonia and urinary tract infections.
Dr. Charles Gerba, microbiologist and professor, shares:
“Towels are one of the germiest things you can use.”
And when asked how it would compare to drying off with a dirty towel, the professor reveals: “You are actually getting more bacteria, fecal bacteria in your face than if you took your head and flushed it in the toilet.”
So what’s the best thing to do?
Experts recommend washing towels in hot water every three days, instead of waiting a week or longer. However, there are also other tips for reducing germs and bacteria.
Learn more about these by watching the video below.
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Source: Inside Edition